Real Madrid are reportedly the front-runners to sign Villarreal prodigy Yeremi Pino, who is also a target for bitter rivals Barcelona.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Defensa Central, Real Madrid are leading the race to sign Yeremi Pino from Villarreal. The 18-year-old attacking sensation is also the subject of interest from Barcelona, but Los Blancos’ improving relationship with Jonathan Barnett gives them the edge.

Yeremi Pino joined the Villarreal youth setup from UD Las Palmas in 2017 and took just three years to break into the first-team squad at El Madrigal. And since making his senior bow with the Yellow Submarine, the teenage prodigy has taken little time to grow in stature at the club.

The Spanish attacking sensation has already amassed 46 appearances for Villarreal, chipping in with eight goals and four assists along the way. His quick rise to becoming a key player for Villarreal has unsurprisingly captured the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Real Madrid and Barcelona among his suitors.

Real Madrid are constantly on the lookout for some of the brightest talents in the game, with the objective being to facilitate smooth transitions from one generation to another decade after decade. The result of such an outlook has been the acquisition of players like Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo Goes, who are all first-team regulars already at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Pino is, therefore, a viable target for Real Madrid, although they are facing stiff competition from arch rivals Barcelona in pursuit of the 18-year-old. Like Los Blancos, the Blaugrana are also known to have made some smart acquisitions on the youth front over the years.

Most recently, Barcelona have signed the likes of Sergino Dest, Yusuf Demir and Pedri, while also having reached an agreement to secure the services of Turkish prodigy Emre Demir. And Pino could be the latest in a long line of talented prospects to arrive at Camp Nou, with the Spaniard potentially creating a long-term attacking core consisting of Ansu Fati, Demir and himself.

However, Real Madrid appear to be the front-runners to sign Pino from Villarreal, owing to their improving relationship with Jonathan Barnett in the wake of signing Eduardo Camavinga. With that in mind, it remains to be seen if they indeed end up beating Barcelona to his signature or if the Catalan giants can somehow manage to steal a march on them in his pursuit.

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